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Ground Zero: The ‘suspected foreigners’ of Assam

first_imgBadal Das is paying for his illiteracy and a possible clerical error made five decades ago. He hails from Kinna Khal, a village of mostly Scheduled Caste Bengali Hindus located 500 metres east of the India-Bangladesh border. Since 2016, when the Foreigners Tribunal (FT) 4, one of 100 across Assam, in Silchar first summoned him, Das has spent more than ₹50,000 on policemen, lawyers and middlemen who had promised to settle his case quickly.Silchar, the headquarters of Cachar district in southern Assam’s Barak Valley, is 40 km from Kinna Khal. Despite all the ‘speed money’, the FT fixed the first hearing of his case only in March this year. But luck was not on his side. Two days before his scheduled hearing, lawyers in Silchar began a four-month boycott of the FT over a fee dispute. On June 6, Das was declared a foreigner.Villagers pooled funds to help Das, 53, who barely earns ₹4,000 a month selling fish, file a case against the declaration. FT4 has called him again on July 27. “All I want is two square meals a day for my family of three. I am not sure what will happen to me a few days from now. I have nowhere else to go,” he says.  The D-voter targetKinna Khal falls under the Katigorah police station, about 12 km away. Within the station complex is a weather-beaten cottage that houses the Border Police unit where sub-inspector A.H. Laskar heads a three-man team.Assam is the only State to have something like the Assam Police Border Organisation, or Border Police, dedicated to curbing illegal migration. Set up in June 1962, it was initially a wing of the police’s Special Branch, under the Prevention of Infiltration of Pakistanis Act, 1964. In 1974, it became an independent branch headed by an additional director general of police (ADGP).“Come after July 15 when the case is registered (in the FT),” Laskar tells Farman Ali and his wife Majlufah from Siddipur, on the outskirts of Katigorah. Their names are in the new list of 1,440 D-voters under the Katigorah police station. In Assam, a D-voter is a ‘doubtful voter’, disenfranchised by the government on account of his or her alleged lack of valid citizenship credentials.“My family of five are in the NRC first draft. We have no idea why our daughter [Majlufah] has been marked a D-voter,” says 72-year-old Haji Sofiullah of Teentikri village. He is convinced that the government machinery is targeting Bengali Muslims. As an example, he cites the case of Suleiman Ahmed in the adjoining district of Karimganj. FT4 in Karimganj had declared Ahmed an Indian in a 2017 case, but he has been declared a ‘foreigner’ in a new case.Laskar, one of the 3,153 retired soldiers drafted into the Border Police under a Central government scheme, says he feels the pain of the people who have been served notices. “But I have a job to do. I have to submit a report within three days of receiving instructions,” he says.The 1,440 D-voters are scattered among the 199 villages under the Katigorah police station, with the farthest being Natanpur, on the Bangladesh border 32 km away.“At least 500 D-voters are in Kinna Khal and adjoining villages. We are easy targets for a police force that has been given a monthly target to produce D-voters,” says Shanku Chandra, a businessman-activist who has taken up 50 cases of poor D-voters and declared ‘foreigners’ in his village.A senior Border Police officer admits that the district police chiefs are under pressure to deliver but claims there were no specific targets in terms of generating D-voter cases. “Call it pressure or over-enthusiasm, most people targeted as suspected foreigners turn out to be Indian citizens,” says Aminul Islam of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), a political party that has been helping the “victims of the system”.Islam says that the harassment of Bengali-speaking people — be it Hindus or Muslims — has increased ever since the Supreme Court in 2005 scrapped the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act, 1983. As per this law, when it came to branding someone as a ‘foreigner’ or ‘illegal migrant’, the burden of proof was on the state. The Supreme Court brought back the British-era Foreigners Act of 1946, which shifted the burden of proof (that they are not foreigners) back on the individuals under suspicion.Non-Bengali Muslims too have carried the Bangladeshi tag. The Election Commission had allegedly, without investigation, marked Kismat Ali, 41, a D-voter in 2006, the year he cast his vote for the first time. He was served a notice, but when he failed to turn up for the hearing he was declared a ‘foreigner’ in an ex parte judgment. On August 12, 2015, he was sent to a detention camp in western Assam’s Goalpara, about 260 km from his home in Udalguri district. Kismat was freed on October 30, 2017, after having spent more than two years in Goalpara’s district jail, which doubles up as a detention centre for D-voters and declared foreigners. His freedom came only after he took his battle all the way to the Supreme Court.Ali’s father, Mukhtar, is originally from Uttar Pradesh’s Chhatia village. He had come to Assam in 1956 as a truck driver. But this information did not suffice for Ali’s older brother Yusuf, who has also been served a notice branding him a suspected foreigner. Sheikh Asghar, a 48-year-old carpenter from West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas, has a similar story. He was sent to the Goalpara detention camp in July 2017. His wife Shahnaz Begum, their 13-year-old son, and nephew Zishan have made up their minds to go back home as soon as he is released. “Uncle’s problem is that his father’s name is Sheikh Moral in some documents and Mohammed Jarif in some others. We don’t understand how we are ‘suspected foreigners’ when we have no property in Assam and don’t intend to stay here forever,” Zishan says.The system has also not spared some indigenous people, allegedly marked because of surnames common with Bengalis. One such is Anna Bala Roy, a Koch-Rajbongshi of Bongaigaon district, who was declared a ‘foreigner’ but was released after she submitted proof of her Indian citizenship. Her case came to the notice of the All Assam Students Union (AASU), which had spearheaded the anti-foreigners Assam Agitation from 1979 to 1985. “We will provide legal help to D-voters who can prove that they are Indian citizens by submitting any of the 14 documents accepted as valid,” AASU president Dipanka Nath says.The agitation, fuelled by the paranoia that the khilonjia (indigenous) would be overrun by Bangladeshis, ended with the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for detection, deletion (from voters’ list) and deportation of illegal immigrants. But it bred xenophobia and an ethnicity-based nationalism that presented the bohiragata (outsider/non-indigenous) as the root of all evil.  Victimised by clerical errorDas’ problems began soon after the Assam government launched the exercise to update the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The NRC was first prepared in 1951 using the particulars of everyone enumerated in the Census that year. Das used his father’s legacy data code, 310-4006-8764, to submit his papers. Specific to Assam, legacy data is an NRC applicant’s family link with names in official documents up to the 1971 voters’ list. But he ran into trouble because his father’s name read ‘Nokesh Chandra Das’ instead of ‘Nokesh Ram Das’ as was written in the refugee registration certificate of September 17, 1954. He had not realised that ‘Ram’ had become ‘Chandra’ in earlier voters’ lists when he enrolled as a voter in 1989 as ‘son of Nokesh Ram Das’.Also Read  Most of the nearly 10,000 residents of Kinna Khal and the adjoining Narapati Colony, Subodhnagar, Chandinagar Part 4, and Salimabad belong to the fishing community. These villages are in low-lying areas locally known as ‘haor’. They remain flooded for eight months a year, as the Surma river beyond the Bangladeshi border tends to overflow.None of the 3,500 people living in Kinna Khal made it to the first NRC draft list of 19 million names (32.9 million had applied) published on December 31, 2017. They fear that they may be excluded from the second and final draft too, which is scheduled to be published on July 30. But why such a fear?“Ours is a flood-prone area and many documents have been destroyed by water. They (the NRC Seva Kendra or the NSK) have found fault with every single document we have submitted, be it the refugee registration card, the voters’ ID or the ration card. It is as if they have already decided that we are foreigners. This is our reward for living so close to the border,” says Kamal Krishna Das, who retired as a school teacher 15 years ago. He is in trouble for using his mother’s legacy data, which apparently did not match his credentials.A clerical error has also made 36-year-old Rasendra Namashudra’s life difficult. His wife Lakhi Mandal’s voter ID not only has her name printed as ‘Lakri’ but states her husband’s name as Bajendra Mandal. In the case of Bamacharan Das, 53, who runs a small pharmacy in Kinna Khal, the error is even more baffling. “A few letters here and there are understandable. But a very special system must have changed my name to an alien-sounding ‘Lakakagap Banre N’ in the voter ID,” he says.The NRC cowsEvery family in Kinna Khal has spent ₹10,000-12,000 to get their names in the NRC. The expenses pertain to a range of bureaucratic hurdles, from submission of documents to the family tree verification process. Some like Sanchita, wife of trader Manmatha Das, have spent much more. Sanchita had to travel to an NSK in Dibrugarh, about 650 km away. Similarly, fisherman Nikunja Das had to travel to the Mayong NSK in central Assam’s Morigaon district, 350 km away, because a person not related to him had used his father’s legacy code.Among the first to travel beyond Barak Valley for family tree verification was Upen Das, 55, of Motinagar, a village near Silchar. The marginal farmer was summoned to an NSK in Hojai, 260 km away, a couple of months ago. “A man in Hojai was found to have used Upen’s legacy code fraudulently. But Upen was called at a very short notice. He sold his prized possession, a cow, cheaply to fund his trip to Hojai, where he hoped to prove that he belonged to the genuine family,” says Aurobinda Roy of the Silchar-based NGO, Unconditional Citizenship Demand Forum.At least 40 others who were summoned to NSKs outside the Barak Valley sold their cows at less than half the going rate of ₹35,000-40,000 in order to fund their trip. “Cattle sold off cheap in a hurry have come to be known as ‘NRC cows’. The exercise to weed foreigners out has thus devalued the otherwise revered cow,” Roy says.But the fishing villages of ‘haor’ have no cows to sell. A few have sold their only asset and means of livelihood, their boat, while others have been supplying fish free to the people from whom they have borrowed money. Villagers at a National Register of Citizens verification centre in Morigaon district of Assam.  Preparing for the worstZishan says he changed his lawyer when he discovered that the man had been fleecing his uncle. “The police and the lawyers make the most of the poor people’s ignorance. People are served notices arbitrarily and are made to run from pillar to post. If this is not harassment, how do you explain the fact that more than 90% of the cases involving D-voters and foreigners are dismissed?” says Kamal Chakraborty of Unconditional Citizenship Demand Committee.He cites the example of Geeta Namasudra, 65, of South Shingari village in Karimganj district. She was sent to a detention camp on August 2, 2015 even though she had the 1966 legacy data of her father. She was granted bail in 2017, but her family could not manage the two sureties of ₹20,000 each that were needed. Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha, a local Congress MLA, has promised to get her out on bail.“The problem lies in the so-called investigation by the Election Commission and the Border Police. Its purpose is only to pander to the prejudices of the Assamese majority and the government, who believe that there are millions of Bangladeshis in Assam. Hence, if they don’t find Bangladeshis, they accuse Indian citizens of being Bangladeshis, grossly violating their citizenship rights and making a mockery of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution,” says Aman Wadud, who takes up cases of suspected foreigners pro bono.ADGP (Border) Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta denies that genuine citizens are being harassed. “Action is taken according to inputs gathered from various sources. But our force takes care that no genuine Indian citizens are harassed,” he says.NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela says there will be three categories of people after the final NRC draft is published: those with their names in the list, people put on hold due to doubts about their status, and the excluded. “But people will get an opportunity to prove their citizenship through claims and objections,” he says.The fear that genuine Indian citizens could get left out was sparked by Hajela’s submission before the Supreme Court on July 2, which stated that about 1.5 lakh people named in the first NRC draft would be left out of the final draft because of family tree test failure, suspicious certificates obtained by married women from gram panchayats, and data entry errors.“The NRC is a pre-planned exercise to exclude the names of non-Assamese, particularly the Bengalis of Barak Valley. We fear the creation of a stateless people, who will then be exploited, as India has no treaty with any other country for their deportation,” says Sadhan Purkayastha of Citizens’ Rights Protection Coordination Committee.“The Brahmaputra Valley has always viewed Barak Valley as a cancer, and the rift between the two has only widened over the NRC and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which, if passed, will grant citizenship to Bengali Hindus excluded by the NRC. So it is better to cut the cancer away and make Barak a separate State,” says Pradip Dutta Roy, founder-president of the All Cachar Karimganj Hailakandi Students Association. In May, he had written to Chief Justice Dipak Misra about a possible conflict of interest involving Justice Ranjan Gogoi, a “resident and voter in Assam” who “is monitoring the NRC process”.Others, though, give the benefit of doubt to the NRC machinery and see how things pan out. “There could be some problems with people who cannot prove their citizenship, but the government has laws to protect the rights of everyone, even those who have sought asylum for persecution in their countries,” says Cachar deputy commissioner S. Lakshmanan.The government is also aware of the cost on declared foreigners. It spends ₹13 lakh per month on 885 inmates — 265 Hindus and 618 Muslims — locked up in six detention camps.“The NRC will impact many lives, particularly poor, illiterate Bengali people who had citizenship documents but did not know their worth or could not preserve them. Our central leadership will find a way out,” says Amarchand Jain, Katigorah’s BJP legislator.The ‘haor’ residents, though, are angry with the Bharatiya Janata Party for ‘false promises’ that Bengali Hindus would be protected. “We voted for them for nothing. The Congress at least did not needle us,” says Shyamalkanti Deb, a teacher. There are nearly an equal number of Bengali Hindus and Muslims in the Barak Valley, comprising Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts.“The Muslims in Barak Valley are older settlers than the Hindus, many of whom came only during and after 1971. Many Muslims from here had actually gone over to what was then East Pakistan. The BJP’s pro-Hindu politics is behind the push for the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. But for the Assamese nationalism that drives politics in the Brahmaputra Valley, Bengali Hindus and Muslims are the same — both are unwanted. That is why we are trying to set aside religious differences for a united stand against the disenfranchisement of Bengalis, which is what NRC is all about,” says Hilaluddin Laskar, a professor of philosophy in Hailakandi.Meanwhile, for people like Jitendra Deb, 60, a farmer in Kinna Khal, all that matters is his daily bread. “Our people came from barely a kilometre in that direction during Partition,” he says, pointing to the Sylhet district of Bangladesh 500 metres away. “They came here to escape conflict and persecution. We would rather die than be forced to go back there.” A paper trail that leads nowhere | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar. Suhagi Mandal spends sleepless nights in Morigaon district, Assam, as her family’s names are yet to appear in the National Register of Citizens (NRC).  | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar last_img read more

Death march of the penguins

first_imgEmperor penguin populations could plummet 19% by the end of the century, thanks—not surprisingly—to climate change, according to a new study. Emperor penguins breed and raise their chicks on Antarctica’s fringe of sea ice, and a constant amount of the frozen ocean water is vital to their survival. Too little sea ice, which harbors the penguin’s diet of squid, fish, and shrimplike critters called krill, means the penguins could go hungry. Too much ice and the birds have to travel farther to reach the ocean—a tough round trip for nonbreeding adults, but particularly for parents feeding their chicks. Climate change can have both direct and indirect impacts on sea ice extent in a given location, by not only warming temperatures and melting the ice, but also by altering wind patterns and wave heights that can push the ice around. Now, researchers have used climate projections of sea ice cover at the location of 45 known colonies to assess the impact of sea ice gain or loss on future penguin populations. Using demographic data from the well-studied colony at Terre Adélie in East Antarctica (the subject of the documentary March of the Penguins), the team determined that at least 75% of the emperor penguin colonies are vulnerable to changes in sea ice, they found, with 20% of the colonies heading for extinction by 2100, the team reports online today in Nature Climate Change.last_img read more

Growth in 12th Plan May be Below 9%

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Kat, Ranbir walk ramp for Rohit Bal

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FIFA World Cup 2018: France take on Uruguay to book a berth in the…

first_imgAdvertisementSparks are expected to fly when France takes on Uruguay for a place in the Semis today at Nizhny Novgorod.In head-to-head, we can see Uruguay has 2 wins to France’s 1 and 4 draws. History is evidence to a draw between France and Uruguay in World Cup 2002 and 2010.The two bombshells of the teams. Edinson Cavani (L) and Kylian Mbappe (R)Team News:-For Uruguay, Edinson Cavani is a concern as he is injured and might not feature in today’s game. He left with a limping foot in the Round of 16 fixture against Portugal. So the duty lands totally on Luis Suarez.For France, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann will be the difference makers who are exceptional players and have shown their might against a defensively weak Argentina. Mbappe is a strike force to reckon and should not be taken easily in the right flank.Line-ups:-#URUFRA | Formations… #URU#FRA#WorldCup pic.twitter.com/YnOiI2fWZa— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) July 6, 2018Read Also:-FIFA World Cup 2018: Previewing the Quarterfinal match-ups and beyond (Part 2)Football: Real Madrid sign young full-back, Alvaro Odriozola Advertisementlast_img read more

Indian grounds among worst in the world: Kevin Pietersen

first_imgOut-of-favour England batsman Kevin Pietersen named the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur and Motera in Ahmedabad among the 10 worst he has played in all these years.The two Indian stadiums have company from other notable venues like Guyana and Manchester’s Old Trafford to name a few. (Also read: Kevin Pietersen gets a tattoo in memory of Muhammad Ali) Pietersen also termed Gabba as the “11th worst ground” after being asked name 10 by his followers on twitter. The other grounds that did not find favour with Pietersen are Chelmsford, Colwyn Bay, Canberra, Multan, Leicester and St Kitts.However he rated Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium as one of the 10 best venues that he has played cricket on.It was at Wankhede in 2012, that Pietersen played a gem of an innings — 186 on a turner that not only won England the Test but also changed the course of series. That century according to many is one of the finest by an overseas batsman on Indian soil.The nine other venues which he liked playing are Adelaide, The Oval, Trinidad, MCG, Kingsmead, Headingley, Centurion, Wellington & Barbados.last_img read more

Make efforts to look into issues raised by Guha: CIC to BCCI

first_imgNew Delhi, Jun 9 (PTI) The CIC today urged the Committee of Administrators running the BCCI to “immediately initiate efforts” to look into the issues raised by historian Ramachandra Guha in his resignation letter.The Central Information Commission also made it clear that the BCCI is a national sports federation (NSF) but stopped short of declaring it a public authority under the RTI Act.The observations of the CIC came while hearing the case of an RTI applicant who had sought to know from the Union sports ministry the provisions under which the Board of Control for Cricket in India, registered under Tamil Nadu Society Act, selects the Indian team for international events.Applicant Om Prakash Kashiram did not get a satisfactory response from the ministry after which he approached the Commission with his appeal.”This CoA has taken charge with immediate effect started liaising with BCCIs chief executive officer Rahul Johri, who is in-charge of the daily administration of the board. This means the Union of India has taken over the administration of BCCI through the Supreme Courts appointed committee, hence the BCCI, its CoA already became public authority and answerable,” Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said.The Commission did not bring it under the RTI Act because of a pending matter before the Madras High Court.It directed the ministry of youth affairs and sports to inform it and the applicant about its efforts to expedite the process of bringing a bill or adopting appropriate legal measures to declare BCCI as public authority under RTI Act.advertisementIt also directed the Committee of Administrators to adopt transparency in its functions.”The Committee of Administrators and the CEO need to immediately initiate efforts to find the facts on the issues raised by Ramachandra Guha, take necessary steps to prevent wrongs, if found to have been committed,” he said.Guha who was also deputed by the Supreme Court in the Committee of Administrators to run the BCCI had made sensational claims in his letter in which he had questioned the stardom and conflict of interest by some members.Citing transparency in the functioning of Supreme Court- appointed Lodha Committee, the Commission said the cricket fans are expecting Vinod Rai-led Committee of Administrators to make BCCI functioning fully transparent.In an exhaustive order on detailing the accountability of the cricket governing body, the Commission said the BCCI under the administration of the CoA has to do maximum disclosure on its own, reducing the need for RTI applications.”It has to respect the apex courts order by establishing on its own, an RTI wing,” Acharyulu said.”It should also come up with Citizens Charter on their official website…it is the duty of CoA to publish all such material on its website in both Hindi and English,” he said.The transparency panel said it expects the cricket controlling body to get fully transparent in “all its functions” till it is brought under the ambit of the Act.He said the government provides support to the BCCI which includes making available land by state and UT governments for stadia, tax concessions, making available security during the matches, facilities for visa, and others.”Therefore, it is incorrect to say that BCCI is not an NSF and does not fall within the purview of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India,” he said. PTI ABS KUNlast_img read more

World Cup 2018: Sweden stand in the way as England aim to reach semis

first_imgEngland take on Sweden on Saturday for a place in the World Cup semi-finals. While the 1966 champions are aiming to reach the last four for the third time in their history, Sweden would reach their fifth semi-finals if they beat England.Sweden reached the semis in 1938, 1950, 1958 (when they were hosts and would go on to play in the final) and in 1994 in the USThe English qualified for the semi-finals in 1966, (when they won the World Cup on home soil) and 1990.The fact that England needed extra time and penalties to defeat Colombia in the last 16 shows that while the supposedly easier half of the draw may not have the heavyweight names, it is still going to produce tight contests.England’s John Stones said before the match that his team is wary of the threat Sweden pose.”There are no easy games. I think if you say it’s an easy game in a quarter-final of a World Cup, then you are pretty stupid to say that,” said Stones.”They’ve got a lot of quality. They play very structured from the back, sit quite deep from what we’ve seen, and we know what we’re up against.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGE”Sometimes they can throw you these teams, they can go kind of under the radar, but there is no question they are a good team. They wouldn’t be where they are if they weren’t,” he said.The highlight of Sweden’s campaign so far was beating Mexico 3-0 to top its group, and Janne Andersson’s side then won a tight contest with Switzerland in the last 16.advertisementSweden have, of course, enjoyed some memorable World Cup campaigns in the past — reaching the final on home soil in 1958 where they lost to Brazil and then the semi-finals in 1994 where again the South Americans ended their dreams.World Cup 2018: Southgate wants England to make most of golden opportunitySwedish captain Andreas Granqvist isn’t worried about England enjoying the greater possession and expects his team to stick to their tried and tested approach.”If you look at the games we have played, the opponent has had more ball possession than we have, but we have created more chances, more dangerous chances,” Granqvist said.”This is how we play, this is what we need to do, this is our strength, and we also need to see our quality against other strong teams. This is the way for us to have success, and we’re going to continue this way”.England could be without substitute striker Jamie Vardy who has a groin injury, but they are hoping that left-back Ashley Young’s ankle knock won’t keep him on the sidelines and that midfielder Dele Alli’s thigh injury isn’t a major problem.The last time the pair met in a competitive fixture was at the European Championship in 2012, when Roy Hodgson’s England won 3-2 thanks to a Danny Welbeck winner.Overall from 24 meetings, England have won eight to Sweden’s seven, with nine games ending in a draw.(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more

Heartbreaking, unable to understand how we lost: Harbhajan Singh

first_imgChennai Super Kings lost to Mumbai Indians by 1 run in the final of the 2019 Indian Premier League at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday.CSK fell agonisingly short of clinching their fourth IPL title, as with two runs needed off the final delivery, Lasith Malinga won the match for MI.The Sri Lankan executed a slower yorker to perfection, trapping Shardul Thakur (2) right in front to send his teammates, including skipper Rohit Sharma, into delirium as Shane Watson, whose breathtaking 80 went in vain, sunk in his seat in the Chennai dugout.Chasing a modest 150 for victory, Watson, who was dropped on 56 by Rahul Chahar, carried Chennai’s hopes with a belligerent 80 off 59 balls, his innings laced with eight fours and four sixes.But once he was run out in the fourth ball of the final over, it was Sri Lankan Malinga who showed his class to snatch the crown from the defending champions.Harbhajan Singh was heartbroken after Chennai’s loss, as he took to social media to pen his thoughts.”Heartbreaking result for us Chennai Super Kings last night. Don’t know what more I can say..thank you each and every one of you who supported us throughout the season. Congratulations to Mumbai Indians for the 4th IPL Cup. Still unable to understand how we lost,” Harbhajan wrote on Twitter.Heart breaking result for us last night @ChennaiIPL don’t know what more I can say..thank you each and everyone of you who supported us thru out the season.. congratulations to @mipaltan for the 4th IPL Cup still unable to understand how we lostadvertisementHarbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) May 13, 2019MS Dhoni, after the match, said if it was funny how both the teams kept on passing the trophy from one team to the other in the final.”And looking at it as an IPL final, I think both the teams, it was quite funny: we were just passing the trophy to each other. We committed a lot of mistakes, and Mumbai Indians also did the same. At the end of the day the winning team was the one that committed one mistake less than the other team,” Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony.Also Read | It was a funny final, we kept passing the trophy to each other, says MS DhoniAlso Read | MS Dhoni’s run-out was the key moment for Mumbai Indians, says Sachin Tendulkarlast_img read more

America’s attack sputtering in Liga MX playoffs

first_imgLiga MX America’s attack comes up empty as Tigres snatch control of series Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author @ArnoldcommaJon 13:28 11/30/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Mateus Uribe Club America Jorge Torres Nilo Tigres Pedro Pardo Liga MX Tigres UANL América v Tigres UANL América Las Aguilas failed to score in the Estadio Azteca on Wednesday night and will need a serious reversal to move on to the Liga MX final In three playoff games, America has scored zero playoff goals.Las Aguilas scored in five consecutive league matches in the regular season. They average1.35 goals a match over the 17-week campaign. Yet the club’s attack lately has been well below average in multiple respects.Some of the team’s analysis of Wednesday’s 1-0 first leg defeat to Tigres will focus on a penalty decision that was harsh on the home side. Bruno Valdez slid to deny a cross and ended up with his hand up in error. When Enner Valencia’s cross did come, it hit Valdez’ arm in what would’ve been an impressive handball had it been intentional but looked to be pure chance. The whistle blew and Juninho buried the chance to send the series to Monterrey with his team up on the scoreboard.  Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player #NoTeLoPierdasG⚽⚽⚽L de Juninho@ClubAmerica 0-1 @TigresOficial IDA #Semifinal #Apertura2017 #LIGABancomerMX⚽ #SienteTuLiga ⚽ #AbrazadosPorElFutbol pic.twitter.com/L1j4rWFc8q— LIGA Bancomer MX (@LIGABancomerMX) November 30, 2017America can have legitimate beef with the decision, but coach Miguel Herrera has nobody to blame but his own team for its attacking deficiencies. Herrera’s men actually were able to keep a fair amount of the possession against Tigres, a rarity against a side coached by Tuca Ferretti. But they did relatively little with it. Tigres more than doubled America’s shot total (18-8) and the home side didn’t put a single shot on Nahuel Guzman’s goal.Herrera had benched Silvio Romero, who clearly was off the mark in the previous series against Cruz Azul, and tried to put the pressure on Ferretti’s side with Ecuadorian winger Renato Ibarra, teenager Diego Lainez and 21-year-old Alejandro Diaz entering as his substitutes. Whether experienced or veteran, homegrown or foreign, no America player was able to set themselves up for a dangerous opportunity or feed forwards Oribe Peralta or Darwin Quintero.Midfielder Mateus Uribe had one of the better efforts of the night, trying to put a bicycle kick into the back of the net but sending it wide of the goal Guzman was defending. That is what America had been reduced to – trying to find something spectacular.Tigres were something of the opposite, converting the penalty but failing to finish off other opportunities they generated. Agustin Marchesin made two saves, including a reflex stop on a deflected corner kick that threatened to end the series. Instead, as it stands, America could even things up quickly if it can score in the second leg and match the number of away goals Tigres scored. The issue is that the team has given no indication that will happen. Even a 1-0 win in El Volcan, where Tigres are yet to lose this season, wouldn’t be enough. It’s been 10 matches since America scored multiple goals. Word came out Wednesday that Peralta is seeking a long contract extension. Herrera returned to Mexico City with a reputation for getting the team out of tough situations. Each will need to earn their pay for America to overcome this nasty scoring drought and get into the semifinals.last_img read more

Updated Guidelines for Cervical Cancer Screening

first_imgCancer Care Nova Scotia announced updated guidelines for cervical cancer screening today, Nov. 27, following a review by Nova Scotia experts of new recommendations released earlier this year from the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care. “Our updated guidelines reflect increased knowledge of how cervical cancer develops, and a greater understanding of the benefits and potential harms of screening,” said Dr. Robert Grimshaw, medical director, Cancer Care Nova Scotia Cervical Cancer Prevention Program. “The updated guidelines include changes in the age to begin having Pap tests, and the frequency of screening needed based on age and a woman’s cervical screening history.” The Cervical Cancer Prevention Program’s revised guidelines recommend: Dr. Grimshaw said it is likely that the guidelines for cervical cancer screening will change again when more HPV vaccination data from the school-based immunization program, introduced in 2007, has been collected and analyzed. “Regular Pap tests can prevent up to 90 per cent of deaths from cervical cancer,” said Dr. Grimshaw. “This has not changed. Regular Pap tests are still important in our fight against cervical cancer, but we now have a better understanding of who needs a Pap test and how often. Women should talk with their family doctor or health care provider about what these revised guidelines mean for them. Any woman wanting a copy of her Pap test history may call us at 1-866-599-2267.” Representatives from Doctors Nova Scotia and district health authorities worked with the Cervical Cancer Prevention Program’s Management Committee to develop the updated guidelines. For more information, visit www.cancercare.ns.ca/cervicalcancerprevention . Cancer Care Nova Scotia’s Cervical Cancer Prevention Program is dedicated to reducing the incidence of cervical cancer in Nova Scotia. Strategies are aimed at working closely with family doctors and other primary-care providers to provide them with the tools and information to educate their patients about the importance of regular Pap tests, and to encourage those patients to have a regular Pap tests in accordance with the guidelines. Cancer Care Nova Scotia, a program of the Department of Health and Wellness, was created in 1998 to facilitate quality cancer prevention and care for all Nova Scotians. It supports health professionals in providing patients with high quality care. Women 20 years old and younger do not need a regular Pap test Women should start having regular Pap tests at age 21 or within three years of first vaginal sexual activity, whichever comes last. Once a person begins having Pap tests, they should continue to have them every three years. Women between 25 and 69 years old should have a Pap test every three years. Women older than 70 who have had three normal Pap tests in a row, no longer need to be screened. Those older than 70 who have not had three normal Pap tests in a row should continue having Pap tests every three years until they do.last_img read more

BJP attempting to buy seven AAP MLAs at Rs 10 crore each

first_imgNew Delhi: Accusing the BJP of indulging in horse trading, AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia Wednesday alleged that seven of his party MLAs in the national capital have been offered Rs 10 crore each to join the saffron party. The BJP however rubbished the claim terming it “bizarre allegation” and a “desperate bid to gain attention”. Sisodia alleged the BJP had earlier too tried to “buy” AAP MLAs and they were given appropriate response by the public, and claimed that this time also they will get a befitting reply. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework “Since the BJP does not have any development issue to raise, it has now come down to indulging in horse trading by attempting to buy seven of our MLAs at Rs 10 crore each,” he said. Sisodia also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his comment that 40 Trinamool Congress MLAs in West Bengal are in touch with him and will desert their party once the BJP wins the general elections. “It does not suit the prime minister to make such comments. He (Modi) should realise that India is a democratic country and he is here because of democracy,” the AAP leader said, alleging the BJP is trying to do the same thing in Delhi. Reacting to Sisodia’s allegation, BJP media head Ashok Goyal said, “The AAP is baffled as it is loosing the elections and its leaders are trying desperately to gain attention by making bizarre allegations.” “Arvind Kejriwal is not being able to stop the rebellion of AAP MLAs and is dragging BJP’s name in their internal problems,” Goyal said.last_img read more

UN report finds improvements in external debt situation of poor countries

“The year 2000 has seen some improvements in the external debt indicators of developing countries and transition economies,” the report states. “With the total stock of debt virtually unchanged in nominal terms, and gross national product (GNP) growth rates exceeding 5 per cent in both developed and transition economies, debt to GNP ratios improved in all regions, and provisional figures for debt to exports ratios even show larger improvements.” At the same time, Mr. Annan cautions that “these improvements should be interpreted with care,” pointing out that different countries experienced different levels of growth and export earnings. The cost of servicing debt “continues to represent a heavy burden for many developing countries,” while last year, arrears on interest payments rose in Latin America and East Asia. Drawing policy conclusions in response to these conditions, the Secretary-General calls for improving the initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), which aims to facilitate relief for those States. “Evidence is increasingly suggesting that the debt sustainability exercises undertaken in the context of HIPC have been overly optimistic regarding the estimation of the level of indebtedness that countries would be able to sustain after receiving debt relief,” the Secretary-General observes, stressing the importance of making an independent assessment of debt sustainability. The report also calls for increased official development assistance (ODA) to help poor States. “This requires ODA to be raised in accordance with the needs of recipient countries,” Mr. Annan writes, calling on donors to provide fresh funds to HIPC States without reducing overall levels of multilateral financing. read more

UN crime chief urges global action to disrupt ruthless illegal wildlife trade

“The rate of poaching is such that a number of iconic and lesser known species risk being wiped out over the next decade – and we will all bear responsibility for those losses,” warned Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), at a special event taking place in Vienna on the margins of the 23rd session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.Mr. Fedotov stressed that the illegal wildlife trade – broadly considered poaching and other illicit exploitation of the world’s wild flora and fauna – needed to be recognized everywhere for what it is: a very serious transnational organized crime requiring effective legislation and criminal justice systems. The London Conference that took place in February 2014 had added to the political commitments expressed in Paris, Gaborone, Marrakesh and Bishkek in 2013. “We must now translate our resolve into concrete action and channel this momentum into the General Assembly,” he said. Stemming this tragedy is a shared responsibility, said Mr. Fedotov, explaining that UNODC is working with Governments and partners, such as the International Consortium on Combating Wild Life Crime (ICCWC), to improve legislation, strengthen law enforcement and criminal justice systems that can investigate, prosecute and sentence criminals in source countries and end-markets, and forge closer international cooperation. In addition, UNODC will soon launch the Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime, which would deliver regional and national assistance to support law-enforcement responses, put in place legislation to address this crime, strengthen investigative, prosecutorial and judicial capacities, as well as combat the related issues of money-laundering and corruption. It will also support States in their efforts to introduce livelihoods to affected communities. Mr. Fedotov stressed however that law enforcement alone cannot eliminate wildlife crime, and he underlined the need to tackle the underlying development dimension. “Education and public awareness campaigns are needed to reduce the demand for protected fauna and flora, together with efforts to promote sustainable livelihoods for communities in source countries, where poverty and their lack of economic opportunities drive many to engage in this criminal enterprise,” he said.Mr. Fedotov said he hoped that more countries would implement the UNODC Wildlife and Forest Crime Analytic Toolkit developed with ICCWC to assess countries’ preventive and criminal justice responses to wildlife and forest crime, following the example of Gabon, Nepal, Bangladesh and Peru. Other initiatives of UNODC include the recent “Be a responsible traveller” campaign jointly launched with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to curb demand for wild animals, exotic plants and endangered wood products. read more

Week In Westminster – Week ending Friday 15 June 2012

DOWNLOAD1. Vince Cable addresses SMMT International Automotive Summit2. George Osborne & Mervyn King deliver annual Mansion House speeches3. SMMT gives evidence at Transport Select Committee4. UK automotive industry targets all-time manufacturing records5. Vehicle registrations up in May 20126. BIS & DFE announce independent apprenticeships review7. Week aheadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)

Lebron James Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade Share Final

This is Miami’s first Game 7 in the LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh era.The Heat’s three stars addressed reporters for the final time on Saturday before Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, with Chris Bosh saying he again expects to come off the bench, Dwyane Wade explaining the reason for his offensive struggles, and LeBron James asserting it’s absurd for anyone to suggest he could produce Thursday’s eye-popping numbers every game.Through six games, Wade had just 35 first-half points in this series on 12 for 46 shooting (26 percent). But he has 92 points in the second half.Wade said because he’s facing so many double teams, the Celtics are “taking me out of the game. So I’m trying to make as much of an impact as possible. I understand I have to affect the game other ways and wait for my opportunities to come.“It’s not the easiest thing to do. A double team doesn’t let you get good looks, and when you get looks, it gets you out of your rhythm. But I’ve got to stick with it, and that’s what I’ve done.“I’ve had better second halves than first halves, and if I can pick one, I’ll pick the second half, instead of playing great in the first half and not good in the second one. They put a game plan together, and there’s no question the game plan is to make sure I don’t see a lot of opportunities.”James said Saturday that “I would love to have another game like” Thursday’s 45-point, 15-rebound epic, but “no one can do that every single game. People say, ‘Why can’t I do that every game?’ That’s the craziest thing.”Mario Chalmers referred to James’ serious, piercing glare during Game 6 as “his ugly look.” James, informed of that, was amused. “I never had that look,” James said. “I never had that look in my life. It’s a focused look.”As for Bosh, he said he has no issue with coming off the bench for the third consecutive game since returning from an abdominal strain. “It’s irrelevant,” he said. “It will be irrelevant as long as we’re playing. As long as I get to play, it doesn’t matter. We have a good thing going right now. I will continue to come off the bench as long as it’s good. I’m going to have my time with certain lineups.”Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he would not announce his starting lineup until just before tipoff.Source: Miamiherald.com read more

Prince William opens new Foreign Office facility named after pioneering female diplomat

The Duke stumbled briefly over his words at the end of his speech, appearing to begin to say “Matthew” before correcting himself to “Mayhew” as he told a small audience it gave him “enormous pleasure” to declare the room open.Lady Mayhew’s children said she would be “absolutely thrilled” to know the theatre had been named for her, adding she would have been encouraged to know the progress woman had made in the diplomatic service.Judy said: “We’re really proud of Mum. She battled quite hard though her life in a lot of ways and she would be over the moon to see this.” During the visit, the Duke was welcomed to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by Jeremy Hunt, and given a tour by Sir Simon MacDonald, Permanent Under-Secretary of State.The Mayhew Theatre allows staff to join sessions virtually from across the world, and will be used to support the delivery of the Diplomatic Academy curriculums.The new theatre will allow the Academy to improve their learning culture by bringing larger groups of people together, both physically and virtually, to share knowledge, expertise and skills, a spokesman said. Tessa Mayhew and David Mayhew talk with Prince William The Duke of Cambridge views a model of the Mayhew Theatre at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Diplomatic Academy The Duke of Cambridge has warned of the challenges facing diplomats in the digital age, as he opens a new Foreign and Commonwealth Office learning hub named for a British female pioneer.The Duke, who unveiled a plaque at the Mayhew Theatre, said FCO staff must now “adapt to the opportunities and threats of new technologies”.Urging them to “make time for learning and study hard”, he told them: “Your work is absolutely essential to the country.”The “state-of-the-art learning facility” in the Diplomatic Academy at the FCO in London is named after Lady Mayhew: the second woman to be appointed to the British Diplomatic Service and the very first to be sent overseas.Born Cicely Ludlam, she had a first in French and German from Oxford and was recruited to Bletchley Park decoding messages for naval intelligence.After the Second World War, she joined the Foreign Office and travelled behind the Iron Curtain to Belgrade where she met Christopher Mayhew, minister and Labour politician and accepted his proposal. Three of her children, David, Tessa and Judy, and granddaughter Emily attended the ceremony to officially open the theatre, speaking of their pride in its name.“I was reading up about her,” the Duke told them. “She was a remarkable woman.“It’s interesting how times have changed isn’t it? I was reading about how she got married and had to relinquish her role. That must have been quite difficult for her, having built those relationships [for her career].“Did she talk about it a lot to you? It’s very nice that she wrote it all down.“I hope you’re proud of her.”In a short speech delivered shortly before he declared the theatre open, the Duke said: “I know how invaluable the work of the FCO is. Tessa Mayhew and David Mayhew talk with Prince WilliamCredit:AFP “I can see what you do for myself when I travel around the world at the government’s request.“I meet members of your service and I’m always impressed by your dedication to projecting our values, to protecting our national security, to creating prosperity and to supporting our systems all around the world.“I recognise the challenges of modern diplomacy in a digital age, where we need to adapt to the opportunities and threats of new technologies. David added: “One of the things she said at the end of her life was that she hated domesticity. She was a wonderful mother, but she missed being able to contribute her considerable intellectual gifts to the Foreign Office.“She would be absolutely thrilled.”The family were consulted about the name of the Mayhew Theatre, readily agreeing after being told their mother had been selected as the inspirational person to honour. The Duke of Cambridge views a model of the Mayhew Theatre at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Diplomatic AcademyCredit:AFP The Duke of Cambridge with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt  “Investing in the people who make up the diplomatic service is vital, and so I’m pleased to be here to help mark the next step forward in that investment.“I wish everyone who uses these facilities the very best as they aim to equip themselves for the challenges they will face in their careers.“Your work is absolutely essential to the country, so make time for learning and study hard.“And take inspiration for the commitment to public service that Cicely Mayhew showed throughout her entire life “I’ve heard a great deal about Cicely from her family, and this theatre and its purpose are a fitting tribute to her memory.” The Duke of Cambridge with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt Credit:PA The decision meant she had to give up her career, going on to have four children, supporting her husband’s political career and, in later life, interviewing candidates for the Foreign Office. She died in 2016 aged 92. read more

Bolt breezes through to semis

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedUsain Bolt to seek treatment ‘immediately’July 2, 2016In “latest news”Brilliant Bolt …First man to win three Olympic 100m titlesAugust 15, 2016In “latest news”Bolt, Blake, Ashmeade cruise into 100m semisAugust 13, 2016In “latest news” – Blake, Forte also qualify, with all eyes on today’s final(Jamaica Observer)- Despite stumbling out of the blocks Usain Bolt easily qualified for today’s semi-finals of the 100m with a relaxed-looking 10.07secs (0.3 mps) in the heats of the blue riband event here at the Olympic Stadium yesterday to keep alive his golden farewell.Yohan Blake eases down at the end of his heat in the Men’s 100m at the World Championships inside the Olympic Stadium in London yesterday. (Photos: Collin Reid, Courtesy of Courts, Supreme Ventures and Jamaica Tourist Board)Fellow Jamaicans Yohan Blake and Julian Forte also advanced to the 100m semi-finals, while debutant Senoy-Jay Givans was eliminated at the first hurdle at this the 16th World Athletics Championships here in London, England.Fedrick Dacres reached the discus final fairly comfortably, while his teammate Travis Smikle had to wait anxiously but sneaked in as the last qualifier. Damar Forbes did likewise in the long jump, but there was no such luck for Ramone Bailey.But the night, in fact the entire Championships, belongs to the incomparable Bolt and the packed venue erupted with every glimpse of him, whether on huge screens or on the track.Bolt, who is hunting his fourth World title, had the second slowest reaction time of 1.66 seconds running from lane seven but he quickly hustled up on the field, glanced across and eased home in the 10.07secs. The eighth fastest time into the semi-finals set for 1:05 pm Jamaican time. The final will be run later at 3:45 pm.“The race overall was a poor start so I had to push myself a little bit in the middle to get back in it. But Overall I was happy that I had to push myself and blow the cobwebs out now. I am feeling Ok, but it wasn’t a great race,” said Bolt.He continued: “That was very bad. I stumbled coming out of the blocks. I’m not very fond of these blocks. I think these are the worst ones I’ve ever experienced. I have to get this start together because I can’t keep doing this.“It’s shaky. When I did my warm up it pushed back. It is just not what I am used to. Not as sturdy or firm,” said a concerned Bolt.“But the fact that I got back in the race pretty quickly shows that I am in decent form. The more I run the better I feel so tomorrow (today) we will see how the semi-finals go and I can really say what’s what,” he added.Blake also safely navigated himself to the semi-finals after finishing second in heat two behind Jamaican born Abdul Hakin Sani Brown of Japan, who won in a personal best of 10.05secs. Blake clocked 10.13secs, while Turkey’s Emre Zafer Barnes, former Winston Barnes of Jamaica College and Jamaica, was fourth in 10.22secs and also qualified.“I just wanted to stay strong and take it round by round. I just want to make people know that ‘Blake’ is up,” said Blake.“It is good to be here and I just want to get a similar result to the 2011 (World championships). I’m fit and I’m healthy,” he added.Meanwhile, Forte was the quickest of the Jamaicans and in fact, the quickest overall capturing his heat in 9.99secs (0.0) to equal his personal best.“I equalled my PB today, so this time shows me that I am in good shape, that I have the strength. I have always been confident about myself, but I just kept it inside,” said Forte.“I am just trying to execute my race each round. I just tried to control my race,” he added.Givans was seventh in heat one clocking 10.30secs. The race was won American rising star Christian Coleman, who won in 10.01secs (-0.1). Former Jamaican runner Jak Ali Harvey of Turkey was second in 10.13.The biggest challenger to Bolt, Justin Gatlin, won his heat in 10.05secs ahead of another former Jamaican Andrew Fisher, now running for Bahrain, who clocked in at 10.19secs.In the semi-final Bolt has been drawn in heat three with Coleman, Barnes, Fisher, Great Britian’s Chijindu Ujah and Jimmy Vicaut of France. Blake is paired with his first round conqueror Sani Brown, while Forte faces Gatlin and South African Akani Simbine. read more

ESCO launches joint venture with Elecmetal in Chile

first_imgESCO and Elecmetal have signed a joint venture agreement for a ground engaging tool (GET) foundry to be constructed in Chile. ESCO and Elecmetal have a nearly 50-year licensee relationship, and this joint venture further strengthens that bond. Elecmetal will continue to act as ESCO’s exclusive licensee in Chile. Construction of the new foundry is slated to begin in early 2008. Upon completion in 2009, it will supply GET products for the mining and construction markets.ESCO (www.escocorp.com) is a global manufacturer of engineered metal wearparts and components for industrial applications. Mining is one of the principal industries that ESCO. Compania Electro Metalurgica (Elecmetal) participates in industrial and commercial activities related to metallurgy. It also has direct and indirect investment and/or operation in activities related to mining. Elecmetal is headquartered in Santiago, Chile.last_img read more

Fota Wildlife Park celebrates birth of baby cheetah

first_imgFOTA WILDLIFE PARK in Cork is celebrating the birth of the fist cheetah to be born in the park in over five years. The male baby cub was born on the 20th of September and is the 179th cheetah to be bred in the East Cork attraction since it first began rearing cheetahs in 1984.However, this cub is the first first Northern Cheetah born at the park.First time mumAccording to Fota Wildlife Park, the cheetah has been hand-reared by the Head Warden Willie Duffy since he was two days old.  Duffy said that as it is the mother’s first time mum, she can find it hard to look after the cub and “it sometimes requires for us to step in and help nurture it” said Duffy. (Fota Wildlife Park)Here is a video of the new cub getting fed:(Via YouTube/Fotawildlife)Fota Wildlife Park is highly involved in the global Cheetah Conservation Programme.Naming competitionFota Wildlife Park is now asking the public to suggest a name for the male cub via their Facebook Pag or on Twitter using #FOTACHEETAHCUB.The person who chooses the name the park like the most will get to see the cheetah up close on one of the park’s newly launched Wild Experiences which takes individuals and families behind the scenes at the park.Watch these panda cubs grow from tiny pink yokes to cuddly panda toddlers>This goat could really use a strepsil or something>last_img read more

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